Posted by Amanda Crawford at 27/08/2015 12:47:06
Try not to put extra strain on medical services this August bank holiday weekend by checking your medicine cabinet and downloading Health Help Now.
GPs are appealing for people in Ashford and the surrounding areas to take some precautionary measures in case they fall ill over the last bank holiday weekend of the summer.
Dr Navin Kumta who chairs NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and pays for the area’s health services, said: “It’s important to remember that A&E is for serious emergencies only – hospitals are very busy places all year round, including summer, with A&E staff dealing with life threatening emergencies, like strokes and heart attacks.
“If you become ill over the summer it is important to think about which local health service is right for you, rather than just going straight to A&E. This helps us to ensure everyone gets the care they need.
“People can do a lot to help themselves by making sure they have a well-stocked medicines cabinet. Many injuries won’t need an NHS service at all and can be better treated at home. A sore throat, mild sunburn or a graze can be treated with rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
“It makes sense to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home which should include paracetamol, antiseptic wipes, sun-cream, plasters, tweezers and a thermometer.”
Ashford people can use the free web app Health Help Now to check symptoms or to find out when and where local services are open. It can be downloaded to mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers from www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net.
Pharmacists offer free advice on minor illnesses and you don’t need to make an appointment. Many are open late and on Sundays and some are open on bank holiday Monday (31 August). Confidential emotional advice and guidance is available 24 hours a day every day from the Mental Health Matters helpline on 0800 107 0160 from landlines, and 03003 305486 from mobiles.
For emergency dental care, contact your own dentist first. At evenings, weekends and bank holidays you can call DentaLine on 01634 890300.
Patients needing regular medication should check they have enough to last over the bank holiday break. Many GP surgeries have links with pharmacies offering a repeat prescription service.
If you need urgent medical help but it is not a life-threatening 999 emergency, call the free NHS 111 phone service.